Nanode Weekend

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Ken Boak

Jun 3, 2011, 4:32:04 PM6/3/11
to, Elena Williams, Richard Inglis, Samuel Carlisle, Matthew Gaffen,, Usman Haque, Ben Pirt, Ed Borden, Oleg Lavrovsky, Thomas Amberg, Guenther Hoelzl, Bill Roy
Hi Everyone

Welcome to the first Nanode Weekend - for some, the culmination of a very busy Nanode Week!

The aim of the next 2 days is to bring as many people up to speed on the Nanode Project, so hopefully you can go away with some new skills and some ideas that you can build upon.

Nanode is a first attempt at a collaborative inter-hackspace project, which teaches new skills and provides a useful platform for developing simple applications for the Internet of Things.

Nanode arose out of the desire to make a very low cost internet connected device, which could be used for a whole host of different sensor and control applications. 

It started off in August of last year as three chips on a breadboard, and now, after about 6 months of winter dormant state, the idea germinated again in March and now it is 3 chips on a neat little pcb - which anyone can make.

Nanode is a bit like the home - computers I played with as a teenager,  just about enough resources to do something useful, or fun. How many others started life with Spectrums or BBC B's?

Nanode distils the "spirit" of those early resource limited machines onto a small board - but adds one key ingredient - web connectivity.  Nanode becomes an accessible smart device on the end of an infinite length of wire.

Nanode owes a lot of its heritage to the work of others.  "Standing on the shoulders of giants".  

Pascal Stang and Guido Socher wrote some clever C code about 5 years ago which makes it possible for a small, low cost device like Nanode to connect to the web.

There have been an number of similar implementations of this hardware in the last few years, but none have put everything on a small board which you can actually build yourself in a couple of hours.

Nanode takes the best of a whole load of other ideas and makes a small object of desire - building upon the hard work of others. This is the beauty of open source hardware and software - that we are allowed pick up the ideas of others, and positively encouraged to run with them.  Nanode, whilst fairly primitive in its basic state, will be improved by others, who will have the desire to do something a bit different. This is technology evolving as we watch it - free from the constraints of big corporations who lock everything up in a closed shop.

I've a few people to thank for helping to get Nanode this far:

Firstly Ben Pirt - a fellow colleague from my Onzo days, who inspired me to get on with it in arch and produce the first prototypes.

Andrew Lindsay - who has built upon the firmware TCP/IP stack of Stang and Socher to make a workable internet connection

Usman Haque and Ed Borden of Pachube who have suppported Nanode throughout the last couple of months of development.

Glyn Hudson and Trystan Lea of, - a couple of talented young developers from rural North Wales who are tackling the grass roots business of open source energy monitoring.

Sam Carlisle and Matt Gaffen - two local enthusiasts at  London Hackspace - who dropped everything for a mad trip to Wales to help kickstart the Nanode project.

John Crouchley and his mates at Nottinghack - who are early adopters of the latest Nanode.

Oleg Lavrovsky, Ben Scroggs,  Thomas Amberg, Guenter Hoelzl and numerous others from hackspaces around UK, Europe and USA who have given their support to the Nanode project.

OK - speech over - here is the Agenda for tomorrow and Sunday

09:30    Coffee/Tea and meet with fellow coursemates

10:00    Introducing Nanode -  Ken Boak

10:30    Web Connectivity for Smart Sensors - the Bigger Picture   - Sam Carlisle

11:00    Introduction to open source hardware - behind the scenes at the Nanode Project

11:30    Build session 1.0    90 mins

13:00   Pizza and Beer

14:00    Build Session   2.0

15:00   "Tinkering Time"

15:30    Nanode Applications  90 mins

17:00    General Discussion, Q&A, debrief, open mike session

18:00    End of session - Relax and socialise

After 18:00 the course will continue informally until everyone wants to go home.

Timings will vary according to the pace on the day.  

The workshop will be informal and anyone can feel free to offer comment, suggestion and ask questions.  The only aim is to have you all experts in something by the end of the day.

I'm hoping that some folks will document to wiki,, blog, record, tweet and generally share and divulge the proceedings of the weekend.

Sam Carlisle will run a parallel thread focussing on more in-depth Nanode Applications for anyone who completes the build early or wishes to gain a better understanding of the web interfaces and software.

Nanode kits can be bought on the day priced £20 to non-hackspace members. 

Looking forward to meeting you over the weekend,

Ken Boak



Jun 4, 2011, 6:31:40 AM6/4/11


the agenda looks great. unfortunately for me I won't be able tto make the Sunday session until about 1pm. I hope that's OK

I'm pretty good with a soldering iron so shouldn't take me long to build the nanode. hoping to get vUSB going, as well as some play time with that arduino scripting language

until then



Jun 4, 2011, 12:48:04 PM6/4/11
I'm wondering if the Ethernet IC is supposed to get warm? I've connected it for a minute or two and it's noticeably warm to the touch when compared to the other 2 cold IC's.

Nigel Worsley

Jun 4, 2011, 1:15:14 PM6/4/11
> I'm wondering if the Ethernet IC is supposed to get warm?

The datasheet specifies quiescent current as 120mA so slightly warm is to be expected.



Jun 4, 2011, 1:27:48 PM6/4/11
Thanks Nigle :)
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